Over the past three years, we have gotten a good idea of how John Schneider leads the Seahawks in free agency.
Outside of the big blockbuster deal for Percy Harvin in 2013, Schneider typically has moved at a measured pace in March — making as many roster deletions as additions and signing only mid-priced free agents.
It should be more of the same this month.
Schneider said it himself at the Combine last month: “We are going to keep doing things the way we started here: Just keep drafting people and playing young people and trying to keep the players that we can keep, try to identify the players that we have to reward and make those tough decisions about players that are under contract that you may have to let go to create some cap room. Those are just tough decisions as you go. We are not going to change anything we do.”
Brandon Mebane apparently is in danger of being cut.
On 710 ESPN, John Clayton said, “I think they’d like to find a way to be able to keep him.”
That’s both ominous and surprising.
It’s hard to imagine the Hawks parting with Mebane, especially with so few in-house options at nose tackle. He was playing some of his best football before suffering a torn hamstring in November and being place on injured reserve.
Mebane, 30, is slated to make $5.5 million in the final year of his deal. Clayton thinks he is in line for a pay cut like tight end Zach Miller took last year, when he reduced his 2014 pay from $6 million to $2.88 million and his 2015 pay from $5 million to $3 million.
Of course, the difference is: This is the final year of Mebane’s contract. So they either would be asking him to take a pure pay cut or they could extend his deal by a couple of years. The pay cut does not really make sense, but Clayton thinks the Hawks think so.
The solution to the Seahawks’ depth problem at cornerback might just have arrived — courtesy of former Seattle DC Gus Bradley.
Two years after the Hawks let cornerback Will Blackmon go and Bradley swept him up in Jacksonville, Bradley might have returned the favor Thursday by releasing Blackmon.
The Hawks are hurtin’ for certain at the position this offseason, with Jeremy Lane dealing with a broken wrist and torn ACL, Richard Sherman healing up a torn ligament in his elbow, Tharold Simon possibly facing shoulder surgery and Byron Maxwell poised to leave March 10 when some team (possibly Jacksonville) offers him a monster contract.
That leaves all of one guy healthy: Marcus Burley.
Without a doubt, the worst part of the Seahawks last season was the return game — which is why many fans are taking notice every time a team cuts a return specialist these days.
In the last few days, Ted Ginn Jr., Jacoby Jones and Reggie Bush have been cut, but Seattle fans shouldn’t get too excited about any of them. The Hawks can do better.
They certainly need to.
In 2014, they ranked 30th in kickoff returns, at just 21 yards per attempt. And they were 25th on punts, at seven yards.
It was the most pathetic combined return performance by a Seattle team since the 2005 unit, which averaged 27.8 total yards behind kick returner Josh Scobey and punt returner Jimmy Williams and coincidentally also lost the Super Bowl.
You know you are horrible when (a) Bryan “Wave It Off” Walters is your best return guy, (b) it’s a victory just to hold on to the ball and (c) a touchback is typically your best kick return.
The Seahawks have not used the franchise tag since 2010 — the first year of the Carroll/Schneider regime — and they almost positively won’t use it this year either.
The window opened today and goes through March 2.
John Schneider has been great about re-signing key free agents before their contracts expire, and the guys they have lost in free agency have been role players or lesser starters they were prepared to lose.
This year they have only two starters scheduled to hit free agency, and they are not going to pay cornerback Byron Maxwell or guard James Carpenter $13 million in 2015.
Schneider has said the team will try to retain Maxwell, but he also admits it will be hard. Maxwell is expected to get an offer worth at least $7 million a year — the Hawks probably would go only as high as $6 million.
Five years ago, the Seahawks were looking for a big No. 1 receiver, and they spent more than a month considering a trade for the mercurial Brandon Marshall.
Five years later, the Seahawks still need a big No. 1 receiver, and Marshall could be available again.
In fact, Marshall is one of several players with ties to the Chicago Bears who have drawn previous interest from John Schneider and Pete Carroll and/or already have been linked to the Seahawks this offseason.
Ndamukong Suh, who grew up in Portland, apparently would love to
return to the Northwest and play for the Seahawks. John Schneider and Pete Carroll probably would love to have the dominant defensive tackle, too.